Tagged: speaking

What is Big Data to Information Governance Professionals?

Spring is in the air in New York City. Here’s a picture of the beautiful Magnolia trees in Prospect Park. Magnolia Trees in Prospect Park

Last week, I was pleased to help lead the discussion at The Cowen Group’s Leadership Breakfast in Manhattan. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking and writing about Big Data lately, and jumped at the chance to hear what this community was thinking about it. Then, this week we did it again in Washington, DC.

It was a great group of breakfasters – predominantly law firm attendees, with a mix of in-house lawyers, consultants, and at least one journalist. The discussion was fast ride through a landscape of emotional responses to Big Data: excitement, skepticism, curiosity, confusion, optimism, confusion, and ennui. Just like every other discussion I have had about Big Data.

We spent a lot of time talking about what, exactly, Big Data is. The problem with this discussion is that, like most technology marketing terms, it can mean something or nothing at all. How can a bunch of smart people having breakfast in the same room one morning be expected to define Big Data when the people who are paid to create such definitions leave us feeling . . .  confused?

Here’s how Gartner defines Big Data:

Big data is high-volume, high-velocity and high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making.

 Here’s how McKinsey defines it:

‘Big data’ refers to datasets whose size is beyond the ability of typical database software tools to capture, store, manage, and analyze. This definition is intentionally subjective . . .

Forrester:

Big Data is the frontier of a firm’s ability to store, process, and access (SPA) all the data it needs to operate effectively, make decisions, reduce risks, and serve customers.

Huh? No wonder we were confused as we scarfed our bacon and eggs.

Big Data is a squishy term, and for lawyers without a serious technology or data science background it is even squishier.

The concepts behind it are not new. However, there are some relatively new elements. One is the focus on unstructured data (e.g., documents, email messages, social media) instead of data stored in enterprise databases (the traditional focus of “Business Intelligence.) Two is the technologies that store, manage, and process data in a way that is not just incrementally better, bigger, or faster, but that are profoundly different (new file systems; aggregating massive pools of unstructured data instead of databases; storage on cheap connected hard drives, etc.). Three is newly commercialized tools and methods for performing analysis on these pools of unstructured data (even data that you don’t own) to draw business conclusions. There is a lot of skepticism about the third point – specifically about the ease with which truly insightful and accurate predictions can be generated from Big Data. Even Nate Silver –  famous for accurately predicting the outcome of the 2012 US Presidential Election with data – cautions that even though data is growing exponentially, the “amount of useful information almost certainly isn’t.” Also, correlative insights often get sold as causative insights.

Big Data is a lot of things to a lot of people. But what is it to e-discovery professionals? I think there are three pieces to the Big Data discussion that are relevant for this community.

  1. Is Data Good or Bad? In the world of Big Data, all data is good and more data is better. A well-known data scientist was recently quoted in the New York Times as saying, “Storing things is cheap. I’ve tended to take the attitude, ‘Don’t throw electronic things away.” To a data scientist this makes sense. After all, statistical analysis gets better with more (good) data. However, e-discovery professionals know that storage is not cheap when its full potential lifecyle is calculated, such as a company spending “$900,000 to produce an amount of data that would consume less than one-quarter of the available capacity of an ordinary DVD.” Data itself is of course neither good or bad, but e-discovery professional need to help Big Data proponents understand that data most definitely can have a downside. I wrote about this tension extensively here.

  2. Data Analytics for E-Discovery. Though not often talked about, I believe there is serious potential for some parties in the e-discovery process to analyse the data flowing through its process and to monetize that analysis. What correlations could a smart data scientist investigate between the nature of the data collected and produced across multiple cases and their outcomes and costs. Could useful predictions be made? Could e-discovery processes be improved and routinized? I have some idea, but no firm answers. We should dig into this further, as a community.

  3. Privacy and Accessibility. What does “readily available” mean in our age — an age where a huge chunk of all human knowledge can be accessed in seconds using a device you carry around in your pocket? Does better access to information simply offer speed and convenience, or does it offer something more profound? When a local newspaper posted the names and addresses of gun permit holders on an interactive map in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, there was a huge outcry –  despite the fact that this information is publicly available, by law. This is a critical emerging issue as the pressure to consolidate and mine unstructured information to gain business insight collides with expectations of privacy and confidentiality.

Simply put legal and ediscovery professionals need to be at the table when Big Data discussions are happening. They bring a critical perspective that no one else offers.

Monica Bay provided an overview of the event, artfully putting it in context of what is going on across the legal industry.

By the way, my article about accessing and getting rid of information in the Big Data era has been syndicated to the National Law Journal, under the title, “Data’s Dark Side, and How to Live With It.” Check it out here. You can also check out my podcast discussion with Monica Bay about the article here.

Video: The Leadership Vacuum in Information Governance

As regular readers know, one of my favorite topics is the leadership vacuum in information governance. Who really is steering the ship in most organizations? Is it the CIO? It it the legal department? Is it a new leader like a Chief Digital Officer? This is a critical question, and you should be asking it. I provide some further thoughts on this topic in the video below –  check it out.

Special Bonus Video: What’s Your Favorite Records Management Joke?

As you know, we recently published the five central videos from our interview series, “5 Questions About Information Governance in 5 Minutes.” In this series, we asked 30 IG experts a number of definitional and serious questions about IG. Our experts were prepared for that. However, right at the end of the interview, I slipped in one surprise question. Since many of our interviewees have experience with records management, and records management isn’t known as the most light-hearted, spontaneous profession , I thought I would ask, “What’s your favorite records management joke?”

So that’s what I did. I love this video because it shows that this community has a great sense of humor and does not take itself so seriously –  a sure sign of health.

Next week we will be posting full interviews with each interviewee as well. You can also check out the six videos we have published so far on our YouTube channel.

And by the way, if you know any good records management jokes, please send them to me, or add them in the comments.

5 Questions about Information Governance in 5 Minutes: What’s Your Favorite Information Governance Story?

Here is the fifth and final (except for a bonus video coming soon) in our five-part video series where I asked 30 Information Governance the same 5 questions. This video is the longest of the five, as I ask our interviewees to tell us their favorite story about IG –  something that illustrates what it is, why it is hard, challenges they have faced and so on. There are some great stories, so get yourself a fresh cup of coffee and a snack and enjoy.

5 Questions about Information Governance in 5 Minutes: What Are the The Biggest Benefits of IG?

In the third (3 minute) video of our Information Governance video series, we ask 30 IG experts, “What are the biggest benefits of Information Governance?”

Once again, I wanted to think all of my interviewees, who did an amazing job answering these questions under pressure.

  • Janet B. Heins – Director, Collaboration and IG, Biogen Idec (LinkedIn)
  • Stephen Cohen – Records Manager, MetLife (LinkedIn)
  • Randy Moeller – Global Records Management and Governance, Proctor and Gamble (Twitter)
  • Patrick Cunningham, CRM, FAI – Senior Director, Information Governance, Fortune 500 Electronics Manufacturer (Blog)
  • Laurence Hart  – CIO, AIIM International (Blog)
  • Galina Datskovsky – Chair of the Board, ARMA International (LinkedIn)
  • Darren Lee – VP Governance, Proofpoint (LinkedIn)
  • Arlyce J. Vogel, CRM – Corporate Information Management Project Manager, Large Utility (LinkedIn)
  • Robert Smallwood –  Executive Director, E-Records Institute & Partner, IMERGE Consulting (LinkedIn)
  • Tamir Sigal – VP of Marketing, RSD (Twitter)
  • Bassam Zarkout – Chief Technology Officer, RSD (Twitter)
  • Robert F. Williams – President, Cohasset Associates, Inc. (Website)
  • Conni Christensen – Founding Partner, Synercon Management Consulting (Website)
  • Chris Perram, MBA – Owner, Perram Corporation (Website)
  • Amir Jaibaji – VP, Product Management, StoredIQ (LinkedIn)
  • George Dunn – President, Cre8 Independent Consultants (LinkedIn)
  • Tod Chernikoff, CRM (Twitter)
  • James Morganstern – Business Development Executive, Integro (LinkedIn)
  • Stephen Ludlow – Program Manager, E-Discovery and IG Solutions, OpenText (Twitter)
  • Francis Lambert – CEO, Records Technologies (LinkedIn)
  • John Montana – CEO, Montana and Associates (LinkedIn)
  • Craig Rheinhardt – Director, ECM Product Strategy and Market Development, IBM (LinkedIn)
  • Gordon Rapkin – CEO, Archive Systems (LinkedIn)
  • Keith D. Davis, MBA, CRM – RIM Program Office, Fortune 15 Healthcare Company (LinkedIn)
  • Tom Reding, CRM – Principal, Information Governance, EMC (Twitter)
  • Jill Hearn – Principal Product Marketing Manager, EMC SourceOne (LinkedIn)
  • Matt Hillery – CTO, Fontis International (Website)
  • Gordon E.J. Hoke, CRM – Independent IG Consultant (Twitter)
  • Eugene Stakhov – Senior Solution Architect, Lighthouse ECM Group, LLC (LinkedIn)
  • Beth E. Chiaiese – Director of Loss Prevention, Foley & Lardner LLP (Website)
  • Sue Trombley – Director Consulting, Iron Mountain (Blog)

5 Questions about Information Governance in 5 Minutes: Who Should Own Information Governance?

This is the second video in our series, “5 Questions about Information Governance in 5 Minutes.” In  this video IG experts answer the tricky question, “Who Should Own Information Governance?”

 

5 Questions About Information Governance in 5 Minutes: What is IG?

There is more interest in Information Governance than ever before, but there still continues to be a lack of clarity regarding IG fundamentals. To address this, I’ve produced a video series where I ask 30 IG experts the same 5 questions about information governance. Each interviewee had five minutes to answer the five questions, thus the name of the series: 5 Questions about IG in 5 Minutes. The, we edited the answers into as series of short videos. Watching 30 experts answer these questions rapid-fire is pretty compelling and instructive.

Each day this week I will post a new video, and I will be posting the full-length interviews as well. You will be able to find them here and on our YouTube channel.

Here are the 5 questions I asked:

  1. What is Information Governance?
  2. Who should own Information Governance?
  3. What is the biggest benefit of getting Information Governance right?
  4. What is the best way to fail at Information Governance?
  5. What is your favorite story about Information Governance?

I wanted to thank each one of my interviewees. I really believe the IG community will benefit enormously from your time and insight.

  • Janet B. Heins – Director, Collaboration and IG, Biogen Idec (LinkedIn)
  • Stephen Cohen – Records Manager, MetLife (LinkedIn)
  • Randy Moeller – Global Records Management and Governance, Proctor and Gamble (Twitter)
  • Patrick Cunningham, CRM, FAI – Senior Director, Information Governance, Fortune 500 Electronics Manufacturer (Blog)
  • Laurence Hart  – CIO, AIIM International (Blog)
  • Galina Datskovsky – Chair of the Board, ARMA International (LinkedIn)
  • Darren Lee – VP Governance, Proofpoint (LinkedIn)
  • Arlyce J. Vogel, CRM – Corporate Information Management Project Manager, Large Utility (LinkedIn)
  • Robert Smallwood –  Executive Director, E-Records Institute & Partner, IMERGE Consulting (LinkedIn)
  • Tamir Sigal – VP of Marketing, RSD (Twitter)
  • Bassam Zarkout – Chief Technology Officer, RSD (Twitter)
  • Robert F. Williams – President, Cohasset Associates, Inc. (Website)
  • Conni Christensen – Founding Partner, Synercon Management Consulting (Website)
  • Chris Perram, MBA – Owner, Perram Corporation (Website)
  • Amir Jaibaji – VP, Product Management, StoredIQ (LinkedIn)
  • George Dunn – President, Cre8 Independent Consultants (LinkedIn)
  • Tod Chernikoff, CRM (Twitter)
  • James Morganstern – Business Development Executive, Integro (LinkedIn)
  • Stephen Ludlow – Program Manager, E-Discovery and IG Solutions, OpenText (Twitter)
  • Francis Lambert – CEO, Records Technologies (LinkedIn)
  • John Montana – CEO, Montana and Associates (LinkedIn)
  • Craig Rheinhardt – Director, ECM Product Strategy and Market Development, IBM (LinkedIn)
  • Gordon Rapkin – CEO, Archive Systems (LinkedIn)
  • Keith D. Davis, MBA, CRM – RIM Program Office, Fortune 15 Healthcare Company (LinkedIn)
  • Tom Reding, CRM – Principal, Information Governance, EMC (Twitter)
  • Jill Hearn – Principal Product Marketing Manager, EMC SourceOne (LinkedIn)
  • Matt Hillery – CTO, Fontis International (Website)
  • Gordon E.J. Hoke, CRM – Independent IG Consultant (Twitter)
  • Eugene Stakhov – Senior Solution Architect, Lighthouse ECM Group, LLC (LinkedIn)
  • Beth E. Chiaiese – Director of Loss Prevention, Foley & Lardner LLP (Website)
  • Sue Trombley – Director Consulting, Iron Mountain (Blog)